Speak To Me | Kōrero Mai Book Series
Most of us have heard that the first one thousand days of a child’s life are crucial to their development; all the best
and brightest experts have been quoting the research ensuring that the message is out there and we are listening.
But what can we do to nurture and enhance our children? Jenny Chapman of KiwiSign says the answer is quite simple.
“Every parent is capable of giving their child the best start in life. It is as all about connection and time.
Communicating with your child in loving ways throughout the day as often as possible and making real connections forms a
solid attachment. A solid loving attachment builds their brain and sets them up for life! So talk talk talk with them as
much as your can!”
Jenny’s position is confirmed upon reading the 2017 paper, ‘The Positive Outcomes of Using Sign Language with Babies’ by
Dr Rosemary Lyons, a psychologist formerly with the Ministry of Education.
“Babies and children understand much more than they can say. Babies naturally use gestures to communicate, such as
turning towards a person, leaning in, smiling, waving, nodding or shaking their head. By making eye contact with your
baby, this ‘lights up’ their brain ready for learning. By using facial expressions, gestures and signs it helps your
baby to understand what you’re saying.”
Jenny also believes that it is never too early to introduce new languages and is regular user of Te Reo Māori and New
Zealand sign language with her own family. After establishing a community of like-minded parents and caregivers she
decided to take the next step and make communicating with babies and toddlers easy for all with her tri-lingual series
‘Speak to Me | Kōrero Mai’.
The three board books focus on Family, Animals and the Home. Each page has English and Māori words as well as an
illustration for how to perform it in sign language. The full colour illustrations are sweet and engaging.
When testing out the books, Jenny was delighted that no matter the age of the person reading, they found themselves
unable to resist signing out each page, “it was wonderful to see toddlers, 8 year olds and even grandparents trying out the signs with big smiles on their faces
. It feels as though these books really do have universal appeal.”
If you’re looking for ways to improve and enrich your child’s life these books are an easy way of doing so. Jenny says,
“communication is child’s play. Or at least it can be.”
The Speak to Me | Kōrero Mai series is published by Rakino Publishing Limited and is available for purchase through www.aotearoabooks.co.nz